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Joe Keshi: The Purpose of the Car Donation to Niger Republic Must Be Made Clear


Former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Joe Keshi speaks on the Nigerian government’s sudden donation of vehicles to Niger Republic in an interview on Friday during the Morning Show.

Keshi says that the government must be held responsible for its actions and should come out to speak on the reasons why they made such decision to donate 1.4 billion worth of cars to Niger Republic, saying that from what he knows there is no evidence of help from them.

“If the government cares about the public’s opinion, this is the time to come out and say why they donated those cars, tell us what kind of vehicles were provided and give more details on the reasons for it.”

He adds that one of the problem of this donation is the timing, as there are areas in Nigeria that need help, and spending such a huge amount on a country that we may not be benefitting from instead of putting that money into fixing the problems in this country is rather suspicious. Also, if the vehicles purchased were from Nigeria and not Japan it would have been a good way to encourage Nigerian trade but that was not the case.

“You’re promoting Japanese trade rather than Nigerian trade,” he said.

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“Second problem is the timing; there’s no area in Nigeria that doesn’t need help and spending 1.4 billion naira on Niger doesn’t make sense when other places in the country are struggling.”

Keshi explains that if Niger Republic has helped this country in terms of security by providing intelligence, blocking the borders or stopping smuggling, then the provision of the cars could be justified but if that’s not the case then the deal made with them should be openly addressed.

“If Niger Republic has been helpful in terms of security, blocking borders or ensuring smuggling is stopped then it can be justified.”

Keshi commends the public’s reaction to the donation saying that it will make the presidential candidates of the 2023 general election put foreign policy into the conversation when discussing their plans.

“I’m pleased there’s a public reaction to the donation, the reaction will help to make the candidates look at foreign policy closely.”

He says the government is to blame for not giving domestic problems the attention they require.

“It’s not because we’re donating to other countries that we’re not focusing at home, it’s more of the government.

“It’s not that we don’t have the capacity to tackle our problems, it’s just that we have mismanaged it.”

He concludes by arguing that the issue isn’t with giving because other nations will eventually need aid and we have the ability to provide it, but rather with the ways and means through which we offer it.

“We will continue to give assistance but it’s what we give and how we give that will be the problem.”

Faith Ituen

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